Shrimp Cakes

I had another post queued up but was just so psyched by this one so it is cutting the line!  I loooove shrimp and went all out – even pan frying these! Gasp! I tend to get annoyed frying things since they require so much babysitting. These stayed together pretty well and were worth it. The shrimp cakes were full of such great corn & chive flavor! Plus if you’re growing chives, chances are you have tonssss – or sub parsley, or green onion, or whatever herb suits you.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

These shrimp cakes have a touch of lemon and some sweet corn and shallots provided freshness and crunch. My corn was leftover and I used some frozen shrimp since I like to have them on hand. I’d totally whip a bunch of these up for a group, or as mini appetizers, or they were great to just make 2 servings.

Shrimp Cakes (for 2 entree servings, or 4 appetizer portions)

Ingredients:

1 cup shrimp (shelled, deveined, defrosted, etc as necessary), about 1/4 pound
2 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chives, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
~1 cup corn, off the cob
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Rough chop the shrimp into approximately thirds – smaller pieces but chunks.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and oil to medium heat. (I used a small cast iron pan and added oil to be less than a quarter inch deep.)
Add shrimp, mayo, cornstarch, garlic, chives, shallot, corn, lemon juice, egg, and salt & pepper into a bowl and mix well.
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake
Test the oil temperature by dropping in a tiny bit of the mixture. If it sizzles, spoon in about 3 tablespoons for each shrimp cake (or your desired size). Pan fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Shrimp Cake

I made these on a weekend afternoon and ate some of the more crumbly ones as lunch then the next night for dinner I just toasted these through and had them on salad for dinner. I looooved that these were full of shrimp and corn. I also really didn’t want them full of filler. I love me a good crabcake but wanted these to be different. The cornstarch makes them puffy and crunchy.

Make sure that oil is hot…otherwise they’ll be greasy and not crisp. I go with the small pan to just do a few at a time. Pop the done ones in an oven to stay warm if making for a crowd! I’d do little bites in advance for an app!

Smoky Bacon & Pork Ragu

I put one cooler/low-humidity day to good use after a beach vacation to cook comfort food! This porky pasta sauce has been on my list to make and I had just the night to make it! Get some liquid smoke or this won’t be the same at all (pssst! I get it on Amazon but some specialty food stores have it too. You’ll also use it in chili, burgers, pulled pork, etc.)

The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pork Ragu

I froze half, despite the fact that I’m compulsively trying to use up frozen stuff. I just didn’t want to eat it twice in a week given the warm forecast but I can see popping it out for some not-hot night for variety of the many grilled dinners we’re having this summer!

Smoky Bacon & Pork Ragu for ~4

Ingredients:

4-6 strips of bacon, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage out of the casing
1 small yellow onion
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
~6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp and drain. Then brown the sausage and drain. Then saute the onion until cooked through.
Add the crushed tomatoes into the pot, add in sausage, onion, bacon, garlic, and liquid smoke.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pork Ragu
Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes and add in the red pepper flakes, onion powder, Parmesan, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and basil. Stir well.
Reduce to low and cook for another 5 minutes.
Boil the pasta and cook to al dente.
Spoon sauce over the top and enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pork Ragu
I loved it. It definitely wasn’t your average tomato sauce. The salty and smoky flavor came out and I took great care for it not to be greasy. Bacon & sausage needed to cook separately to each get to their best. Each needed to be drained, for sure.

I can see pulling out the sauce for a quick dinner or putting ontop of a pizza or in a calzone!
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon & Pork Ragu

Caprese Burger

This burger screams summer – as do my flourishing basil plants in the garden! Some critter is munching our tomatoes but the basil on this is home grown! The mozzarella gets melty with a perfect stretchy-gooeyness. I like the hot burger ontop of a cool tomato and plenty of basil for freshness and a touch of creamy yet tart balsamic mayo.

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Burger
I thought about a drizzle of balsamic reduction but went the easy route with some balsamic mayo.

Caprese Burger for 2

Ingredients:

2 burger patties
2 burger buns
2 tablespoons mayo
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tomato slices
2 slices of fresh mozzarella
~6 pieces of fresh basil

Directions:

Preheat the grill and form the burger patties. Then grill the burgers to your desired cook.
Mix together the mayo & balsamic.
Slice the buns, tomato, and mozzarella.
Toast the buns for the last minute the burgers cook and add the cheese on top of each burger until it melts.
Assemble with tomato on the bottom, then the burger, then basil and a spread of the balsamic mayo on the top bun.

The Three Bite Rule - Caprese Burger
I loved this and think it’d be great as a chicken sandwich too. I might even have enough basil for a small batch of pesto. That’d be so great on a caprese burger too!

Red Velvet Smoothie

Smoothies are such a perfect breakfast for hot days. This one would hit the spot for dessert or a snack too. The beets, strawberries, and cocoa together give a chocolatey and earthy but sweet flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Smoothie

Red Velvet Smoothie for 2

Ingredients:

2 cups baby spinach
1 cup milk
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/4 cup strawberries
2-3 beets, roasted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Directions:

Add spinach, milk, and ice to a blender and blend very well.
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Smoothie
Then add in the strawberries, beets, and cocoa powder. Blend well and add a splash of milk if too thick.
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Smoothie
Pour & enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Smoothie
I loved this for variety since my other smoothies are predominantly fruity.  The chocolate hint kind of made it seem like dessert…or maybe just what a weekday morning needs.

July 207 Recap

Happy summer! July wraps up for me with vacay. It is my fav week of the year full of family time, the beach, and nightly ice cream. I’m glad for another full summer month coming. I had an appendicitis which threw me for a loop for a few weeks. I missed a trip to Maine but am now back to normal and feeling better. I only cooked a bit- mostly for breakfast toasts. I’ve leaned heavily towards quick dinners on the grill to squeeze in eating as a family.

My fav thing I made was a French Onion Dip Hot Dog….Mr. J’s idea.
The Three Bite Rule - French Onion Hot Dogs
This white wine spritzer was so delightful and the tip was pomegranate lemonade ice cubes.
The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer
Meatless tacos with chili-lime sweet potato & black bean filling or taco-spiced zucchini and onions.
The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options

On goes the toast:
Cherry Basil Toast
Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg & Everything Bagel Seasoning
Peach & Pistachio Toast

August will be a bit different with the family vacay in July instead of August. I bought cool silicone popsicle molds for push pops. I blended mango with a little water and froze it. What a hit! The little one loooved it. I want to do some crazy favor ones.

2017 Goals:

Year of the seasonal decor: I added a cool rope ball and adirondack chair to my mantle-scape.
do more dinner prep more in advance: I did pretty well. I stillll want to use up some freezer things….like flatbreads etc that can align with quick meals.
read more (and always carry my book on me): I read The Wangs vs. The World and The Perfume Collector.
watch more movies: I don’t think I saw any movies this month. I dozed and watched a lot of TV while I was sick.
cook more fish: I made salmon for a his & hers protein topped caesar salad…the little one ate some and liked it!
focus on clothes that I really like: I snagged some deals from the Gap Factory outlet- $17 white jeans and $5 tee shirt.

What I Ate: Cherry Basil Toast

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

More toast! My basil is going gang-busters…knock on wood. I wanted a savory-ish toast with basil and ended up sweetening it up with some cherries. It was kind of the best of both worlds. Plus, it only took a few cherries. Cutting cherries around the pit is only fun for so long.
The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Basil Toast

Ingredients:

toast
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/4 cup cherries, pitted & chopped
2 basil leaves, rolled & sliced

Directions:

Toast the bread until well done, so the cream cheese doesn’t tear it. Spread the cream cheese on.
Sprinkle the cherries and basil on.
Enjoy!

The Three Bite Rule - Cherry Basil Toast

It felt like summer to a T. I love cherries but only bought a few after having some that were so good at work. I’m on vacay and hoping my basil is still doing well when I get home. I feel pesto coming on!!

Meatless & Vegan Tacos

Some of the gal pals came over for dinner & drinks one Friday night and I was making quite the menu plan but since it was a) hot out with a threat of rain and b) a Friday after work, I made myself keep it simple. I knew I wouldn’t have time for everything I imagined and with rain threatening I decided to skip anything grilled. I like build-your-own options for all diets & food preferences of these 6 ladies, which is also conducive to spreading out on my kitchen island. Plus, I always like to cook things I’ll be glad to have as leftovers. That meant: tacos!

I ended up with a taco bar and made some vegan-friendly tacos to share with you. They were in good company as part of a spread of taco filling options to either be vegan tacos or different additions to regular ground meat as a filling.
The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options
Taco-spiced zucchini & onions
Chili-lime sweet potato & black beans
toppings: salsa; guac-obvi!; green onions; cheese, sour cream; lettuce; tomato; queso

The Three Bite Rule - Meatless Taco Options

I also made my mom’s signature Three Bean dip/salad. It is vinegar-y and fresh. I love it as a taco side dish, or it’s nicely scoop-able with tortilla chips. Shouldn’t everything in life be nicely scoop-able with chips??

The verdict:
sweet potato & black bean one was nicely filling. It wasn’t all that spicy. I sprinkled a pre-cooked sweet potato with chili powder, a drop of sriracha & a squirt of lime juice.

zucchini & onions one good and had the flavor of what I think of tacos being – I sauteed the onions a few minutes and added the zucchini in to cook for the last few minutes with some taco seasoning. With a finer dice, it’d be a really tasty taco topping, versus filling too. Or swap zucc for mushrooms/eggplant as you like.

I’d totally eat these again. They’re handy to have in my back pocket for a use of leftover zucchini, sweet potato, or black beans. Or they’d be useful to spread a smaller amount of taco meat that wouldn’t be enough for everyone. Leftovers are fun in quesadillas to feel different!

 

What I Ate: #ToastedTuesday Avo, Egg & Everything Bagel Seasoning

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

This toast took 2 tries but was ohh-so-worth-it! I had a sweet challah bread with a soft boiled egg, mashed avocado, and everything-bagel seasoning. Mr. J is the soft boiled egg master and the first time I over cooked ‘em. Then I miiight have undercooked it. It was good, but I worried it might have been a touch jiggly.

The Three Bite Rule - Avocado Everything Toast

Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg & Everything Bagel Seasoning

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon each: sesame seeds; poppy seeds; minced onion; fennel seeds; kosher salt & pepper
1 slice challah bread
1 egg
1/2 avocado

Directions:

In a dry skillet, toast the seasoning for about 5 minutes (can be made and stored in advance).
The Three Bite Rule - Avocado Everything Toast
Bring water to boil – just enough to cover the egg. Once it boils, add in the egg and cover to cook for 4.5 minutes. (Cooking for 5 minutes then they rested for ~1 minute and when I peeled, they were too hard. Cooking for 4 minutes and barely resting and peeling they were a bit squishy.)
While the egg is cooking, toast the bread until golden brown.
Fork smash the avocado. Spread onto the toast.
Peal the egg under running water and quickly get it onto the toast. Poke that yolk!
The Three Bite Rule - Avocado Everything Toast
Sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Avocado Everything Toast

White Wine Spritzer

I had some leftover wine that wasn’t the greatest. I jazzed up a wine spritzer that was just so delightful for a warm night viewing of The Bachelorette. Whether part of Bachelor Nation or not, this drink is perfect for the summer. The spritzer has such a bad rap but it is just what a Monday-night-bachelorette viewing needs, or day-drinking, or a light Sunday-funday, or for that not-so-great wine.

The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer

Wine Spritzer with Pomegranate Lemonade Ice Cubes

Ingredients (for 2 drinks):

pomegranate lemonade ice cubes
4 oz white wine
3 oz ginger ale

Directions:

Mix lemonade and pomegranate juice and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze 6+ hours or overnight. Then add to a glass.
The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer
Add in the wine.
The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer
Top off with the ginger ale.
The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer
Enjoy!

I loved that as the “ice” melted, it added another flavor to the drink. The ginger flavor + the wine was so good and then the pomegranate and lemonade added slow additions of other flavors. It became a little bit like sangria. Need a mocktail? Go for gingerale with the ice cube flavors!

The Three Bite Rule - Wine Spritzer

What I Ate #ToastedTuesday Peach, Pistachio Toast

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

I was thinking I’d go for another fruity & nutty option, in a different direction than a nut butter one like this one. I wanted soft & sweet with crunchy and salty. This hit the spot, plus it was so dang quick to throw together! Of all my toasts, this one was perfect for balance. I liked the bit of creamy dairy, the small amount of salty crunchy nuts, and the fresh fruit. I made another baby one with the almost-heal of the bread to be a solid breakfast meal.
The Three Bite Rule - Peach Pistachio Toast

Peach & Pistachio Toast

Ingredients: for 1 serving

Wheat toast
2 tablespoons ricotta or cream cheese
1/2 nectarine or peach
2 tablespoons shelled pistachios

Directions:

Toast the bread until crunchy.
Slice the peach/nectarine into thin pieces
chop the nuts a bit

I love the flavor of pistachios and I probably don’t use them nearly enough. I was itching to make this toast but needed the nectarine to ripen a bit. I don’t love the fuzz of a peach but to each his own. The ricotta provided a creaminess as well as the sticking point to ensure each bite didn’t have toppings sliding all over!

The Three Bite Rule - Peach Pistachio Toast

I dare say, frozen peaches are pretty good for flavor and texture so this one wouldn’t be impossible at other seasons of the year when peaches aren’t around. Maybe I’ll make a winter-ized version in the cooler months. The peaches might need to be chopped but, it could work!

Ok, make some toast. Go nutty at breakfast.